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IL divorce lawyerCustodial interference occurs when a parent prevents the other parent from having their court-ordered visitation with their child. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Refusing to let the child go to the other parent's house
  • Hiding the child from the other parent
  • Moving out of state without the other parent’s permission
  • Picking up the child early or dropping them off late
  • Showing up unexpectedly during the other parent’s parenting time
  • Keeping the child from talking to the other parent on the phone or video chat

Custodial interference is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on you and your child. There are steps you can take to protect your rights and your relationship with your child. It starts by contacting a family law attorney who can help you understand your options and can represent you in court if necessary.

What are the Penalties for Custodial Interference?

The penalties for custodial interference vary depending on the severity of the offense. For the first two offenses, a person can be charged with a petty offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500. For subsequent offenses or more serious cases of custodial interference, a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.


DuPage County, IL order of protection lawyerWhen safety concerns arise, individuals in Illinois have the legal right to seek protection orders. A protection order is a legal document that can help protect you from harassment or harm. There are four main types of protection orders in Illinois: Order of Protection, Civil No Contact Order, Stalking No Contact Order, and Firearms Restraining Order.

You need to go to court and file a petition to obtain a protection order. Understanding the correct order for your situation may require an experienced attorney, one who can help navigate the steps involved so that you can better understand the specific situations required to obtain a protection order.

Order of Protection

This type of protection order is specifically designed for cases involving domestic abuse where there is a known relationship between the victim and the abuser. It offers legal protection to those facing harassment or abuse within family, spousal, or dating relationships. To obtain an Order of Protection, individuals can seek help from domestic violence programs, involve an attorney for civil court filing, request it during divorce proceedings, initiate it within criminal prosecutions, or personally file for one through their local circuit court clerk's office.


IL divorce lawyerYou currently reside in Illinois and are in the process of a divorce. Unlike many couples who are experiencing this landmark decision, you and your partner are on amicable terms. Rather than fight and shout at each other, you have simply grown apart. 

 You may be wondering if this arrangement is unusual and you may be unsure as to how to proceed with a divorce. However, we assure you that you are not alone. An experienced lawyer can assist you through this difficult time. Here at Calabrese Associates, we are here to help you throughout the divorce process.

Under What Conditions Is Someone Allowed to File for Divorce?

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. This means a couple does not need any specific reasoning in order for the divorce to be granted. Rather, the pair can simply state that they can no longer function as a couple and the court can grant them a divorce. While this may seem like an easy process, how quickly and efficiently the divorce moves will depend on how much the couple is willing to negotiate on various legal matters.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce is usually a challenging process. It is not a surprise that if you are in the process of divorce, you may have many questions about your future. One issue that might come up is whether you will receive full parenting rights (defined in Illinois as having the authority to make decisions for a child and the ability to spend time with a child as her caregiver). 

It is true that this path can be complex. Perhaps you might worry that since you are the father, you will not receive parenting rights. But you should not feel hopeless. An Illinois family law attorney can assist you. Here at Calabrese Associates, we are here to help navigate your journey, and we will do our best to help.

Why the Courts Favored Women in the Past

For a long time, many believed that the mother should have full parenting rights for her child. This assumption is based on two central reasons:


DuPage County, IL child custody lawyerWhen parents in DuPage County, IL, divorce, one critical decision is to determine how to divide the allocation of parental responsibilities of their children. The two main terms these responsibilities fall under are legal custody (now referred to as “decision-making”) and physical custody (“parenting time”).

Decision-making responsibilities refer to the right to make important decisions regarding a child's upbringing. These decisions can include education, medical care, and religion. Parenting time refers to visitation rights and how much time the child will spend with each parent.

If you are going through a divorce in DuPage County, IL, and are concerned about the allocation of parental responsibilities for your child, it is important to talk to a family law attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in court.


Naperville, IL asset division lawyerThe division of assets during and after a divorce can be a hard process. This is especially true when retirement accounts have major tax implications. As couples untangle their financial lives, retirement accounts can become a focal point, as they often make up a significant portion of a couple’s wealth. It is important to be aware of what can happen to your taxes when you divide assets during divorce so you can avoid unexpected financial troubles down the road.

How Dividing Assets Works in a Divorce

In general, the tax rules for dividing assets in a divorce are relatively simple. Under Section 1041 of the Internal Revenue Code, there is no tax on property transfers between spouses or former spouses.

However, some exceptions exist. If you get a distribution from a retirement account not qualified for rollover, you might have to pay taxes on earnings. Also, if you are younger than 59½ years, a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty could apply on any distributions from a retirement account.


Naperville, IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a major life change that can be especially difficult for children. They may experience a range of emotions, and how they cope with everything will vary depending on their age, personality, and the circumstances of the divorce. However, there are some things that parents in Dupage County can do to help their children overcome the changes and adjust to their new family situation.

Types of Emotional Responses to Divorce

The emotional impact of divorce can vary widely in children. Some children may only experience mild behavior changes, while others experience something more severe. The following are some of the most common emotional responses to divorce:

  • Sadness


IL divorce lawyerFor whatever reason, a spouse may not respond when they have been served with divorce papers. They may not want to face reality, or they think that the matter will go away entirely. Failure to respond to a divorce filing could lead to a default judgment. In that case, the court only has the filing spouse to listen to, and they will usually grant the divorce on the terms that the spouse is seeking.

When a Spouse Is Considered to Be in Default

Court rules set the time limit for responding to a divorce filing. The defendant in the proceedings would have 30 days to file their answer. If they give the court good reason, the judge could extend the deadline to file the answer. However, the defendant may simply not respond at all. In order to avoid a default judgment, the spouse must do the bare minimum to participate in the process. They could even avoid default if they file an appearance with the court within 30 days.

The Default Process

The court will not just move to issue a default order right after the time period expires. You would need to notify the non-responding spouse when you file the default order with the court. This would give that spouse a second notice that they need to respond to your filing in some manner. The court would consider the motion for default and likely grant it if the other spouse still has not responded. When it comes to default, late is late. The court will not reconsider the default after the order is entered.


IL divorce lawyerPeople are increasingly holding cryptocurrency assets, whether it is for savings or investment purposes. Crypto assets can greatly complicate a divorce. Crypto is treated as a marital asset, but it can present complex issues. You should hire a divorce attorney who has experience in high-net-worth divorces. You may also need to work with other experts to properly value and trace the assets.

Valuing Crypto Assets in a Divorce

Crypto assets are very volatile. The prices can fluctuate drastically by the day. You may find that the price has changed dramatically between the time that you agree to terms and the day that you sign the agreement. You may need to be creative in how you value these assets in a settlement agreement to ensure that the marital assets are equitably divided.

How Judges Value Crypto Assets

Many courts will treat crypto assets as if they are a cash equivalent and simply assign the value of where they are trading at that time in the open market. However, crypto may not always be fully a marital asset. One spouse may have purchased crypto before the marriage. Then, a judge would need to determine which part of the crypto is a marital asset and which would be considered individual property. If one spouse frequently traded crypto during the marriage, it may be difficult to value the assets. You may need a forensic accountant to give their own opinion of how the crypto should be valued. In addition, there may be large capital gains taxes that must be accounted for in asset division.


IL divorce lawyerIt may be tempting to use social media as a source of support during your divorce case. While there are benefits to using social media, there may also be drawbacks. What you post on your social media accounts may be used as evidence against you in the divorce proceedings. Accordingly, you be careful when you want to discuss any details about your case in a public setting,

Your Social Media Posts May Not Be as Private as You Think

Even if you have your posts set to “friends only,” your spouse’s attorney may have a way to access them. Each contested divorce case has a discovery process where the attorneys can gather evidence that is in the other’s possession. Your spouse’s attorney may be able to seek your social media posts, and you will be obligated to produce them.

Pictures and Statements Can Be Evidence in Your Case

There are things that can be used against you in your case. For example, if you are being accused of adultery, pictures of you with another person could be used to prove the case for a fault divorce. In addition, you may need to take the stand to testify in your own case. If you have made any statements on social media that are inconsistent with what you have said under oath, your spouse’s attorney may use them to challenge your testimony and credibility.


IL divorce lawyerIf you are in the middle of a contested divorce, your case would need to go through the discovery process. During this process, you and your spouse would exchange information, including financial data. In addition, you could also need to sit for a deposition. Here, you will be questioned under oath for up to seven hours. There is no question that depositions can be stressful experiences, and preparation is the key.

Master the Facts in Your Own Case

You are not going to win your case at the deposition. You are merely answering questions from your spouse’s lawyer who wants to learn information from you. To give the most effective testimony, you must have a mastery of the facts in your case. You do not want to be uncertain about what you are saying because you could then make a mistake. The more you know about your own case, the more in control you are, and you are less likely to be rattled.

Be Prepared for Difficult Questions

You should know that you may be asked some uncomfortable questions. Your spouse’s attorney may probe into difficult areas that could address intimate details of the marriage. Unless the questions are improper in form, there are very few things that are off-limits during a deposition. You will need to be prepared to talk about things that may rather not talk about.


IL custody lawyerChildren should be able to enjoy a close relationship with each of their parents, as it is certainly in their best interests. In some cases, one parent will interfere with a child’s relationship with the other parent. When a parent engages in alienation, it has serious short and long-term effects on the children. A Naperville family law attorney can help you take action to hopefully put an end to this dangerous practice.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is one parent is relentlessly negative about the other to the children or in their presence. The parent’s intent is to make their children think less of the other parent. The parent wants the child to identify with them over the other parent. The children will pull away from the targeted parent to varying degrees. The children will begin to internalize the alienating parent’s negativity to the targeted parent. They may even refuse to speak with or see the targeted parent. There can be a permanent wedge between the child and the targeted parent, which may only be bridged after extensive therapy.

The Harmful Effects of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation hurts the child for the obvious reason that they lose a relationship with one of their parents. Being placed in the middle of a high-conflict divorce can harm the children emotionally. There is a reason why parental alienation is often described as a form of emotional child abuse.


IL family lawyerNot every child’s educational needs and situation are the same. In addition, two parents may not agree on what type of education is best for their child. One parent may wish to send their child to a private school, while the other may oppose it. An Illinois family law attorney can advise you on how to handle this situation. Any dispute could end up in family court if the parents cannot reach an agreement.

The Best Interests of the Child Test Applies

Every child custody decision in Illinois is made after considering the best interests of the child. This holds true whether the issue of private school is raised during the divorce or any time afterward. Some things that a court may take into account include:

  • The child’s educational history
  • Any special needs that the child has
  • Family history of attending private school
  • The child’s performance in school
  • Any special abilities or aptitudes that the child has

The Court Will Consider Other Factors

A court will often consider whether the child was already in private school before the divorce. If the answer is yes, the court may imply that the parents have already agreed that private school education is in the best interests of the child. A court may hesitate to take a child out of private school in the interests of stability.


IL family lawyerWhen two parents end their relationship, they should not put the children in the middle of their conflict. One parent may show unjustified and relentless negativity towards the other parent when speaking to the children. The result is that the children’s relationship with the other parent may suffer. This is known as parental alienation. An Illinois family law attorney can help you address parental alienation once you learn that it is happening.

How Parental Alienation Harms the Children

Alienation is referred to as a form of child abuse, and with good reason. One parent is taking advantage of their power over the children to harm their relationship with the other parent. Alienation will cause a number of short and long-term impacts on the children, including:

  • An inability to develop relationships
  • Delinquent behavior and lack of impulse control
  • A loss of self-esteem
  • Disruptions in school and difficulty learning
  • Increased chances of substance abuse as an adult
  • Aggressive behavior with their peers

Signs of Parental Alienation

As a parent, it is essential that you spot the warning signs of parental alienation and act quickly to stop it. You may not always be able to end the behavior, and the situation will grow worse over time. Here are some signs that your children are being subjected to parental alienation:


IL divorce lawyerWhen one or both spouses own a business, it is considered a marital asset. Thus, it would be subject to equitable division under principles of Illinois law. However, the two spouses may not be able to agree on a valuation of the business because each may have their own competing interests. Business valuation can make a divorce more complex, and you should contact a DuPage County divorce attorney to protect your own interests.

Expert Witnesses Can Help You Establish a Value

Each spouse would need to hire at least one expert to give their opinion about the business value. You may also require forensic accountants to testify about the company’s cash flow and profitability. Oftentimes, business valuations become a “battle of the experts.” Your attorney would have a network of qualified experts to enlist for your case.

Experts May Use Different Valuation Methods

Two experts could reach very different conclusions, based on both the methodology they use and their inputs into the model. Here are some ways that businesses can be valued:


IL divorce lawyerWhile a useful tool in protecting assets and clarifying financial obligations in case of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement does not cover all aspects of a marriage. In fact, certain matters cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement as they are considered invalid under the law. Today, we will discuss what cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. However, if you and your spouse are interested in signing a prenup, contact a family lawyer to start the process.

Examples of What Must Be Excluded from a Prenup

While excellent tools, prenups cannot be used for everything. For example, prenups cannot be used for:

  • Child custody and support - Once a child is involved, the court needs to consider the child’s best interests. Any agreement that pre-determines child custody or support would not be valid in court.
  • Illegal activities – Prenuptial agreements cannot be used for or promote illegal activities. For example, an agreement cannot be made to waive child support obligations or avoid tax laws.
  • Personal matters – Such as household chores or habits, would not be able to be included in a prenup. Marriage involves compromise and mutual responsibility, so while one person may not enjoy doing laundry and another may hate vacuuming, these matters are generally not considered under the jurisdiction of a prenuptial agreement. Furthermore, what a spouse’s behavior should be, their mortals, and social behavior, cannot be included in a prenup.
  • Incentives for divorce – While a prenuptial agreement can indeed specify the division of assets if the couple were to divorce, it cannot provide incentives for either party to file for divorce. Any agreement with provisions encouraging or supporting divorce would not be considered enforceable in court and can even be regarded as fraudulent.

Contact a Naperville, IL Family Lawyer

Ultimately, prenuptial agreements can be an important tool in marriage planning, but there are limitations on what can be included under the law. Speaking to an experienced family law attorney can help establish which matters are not likely to be included in the prenuptial agreement. When you meet with your attorney, make sure that you clearly state what your goals are by creating a prenuptial agreement. Upon hearing what you are looking to accomplish, your family law attorney will work with you to ensure that the prenuptial agreement includes things that are appropriate and legally binding. Contact the DuPage County family law attorneys with Calabrese Associates, P.C. for legal representation. Call 630-393-3111 for a private consultation.


IL family lawyerIf you are a parent who is experiencing a situation where your ex-husband has fled the state with your child, it can be a devastating and emotionally tumultuous experience. However, it is essential to know that in this kind of situation, you have legal options available to ensure that you are able to reunite with your child and regain your rights to custody and visitation. During this frightening time, contact a family law attorney to learn more about your potential legal course of action during this time.

Here is What You Should Do Right Now

The first step you should take is to contact law enforcement as soon as possible. By reporting your ex-husband’s actions to the police, you can initiate a search for your child and file a missing child report. You should provide law enforcement with as much information as possible, including your child’s name, age, physical description, and any unique information that could help locate them. The police will then enter your child’s information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which will alert law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Then, contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss what else you can do legally. Your attorney also is able to explain your custody and visitation rights under Illinois law and can help guide you through the process of getting your child back. They may also be able to work with law enforcement agencies to locate your child and bring them back to Illinois.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be an emotionally, mentally, and financially grueling process, with long-long lasting consequences for both the spouses and any children that are involved. While the parties are negotiating a settlement, it is important to ensure that the two spouses preserve their existing assets. In cases where one spouse believes that the other spouse may try to hide or dissipate assets or is spending exorbitant amounts of money on non-essential items, a financial restraining order may be necessary to ensure marital funds are not recklessly spent or transferred. If you have these concerns about your spouse, consult with your divorce attorney to understand your options and decide whether pursuing a financial restraining order is appropriate at this time.

Most Important Aspects of Financial Restraining Orders

The process of seeking a financial restraining order begins by petitioning the court. Please also understand that these types of orders are not automatically granted. Essentially, a financial restraining order is a tool a court uses to prohibit either spouse from transferring or disposing of any assets during the divorce proceedings. In addition, it bars the parties from incurring any new debt unless it is for necessities, like groceries, paying bills, etc. The idea behind financial restraining orders is to protect the parties’ shared assets that might otherwise be used as leverage by either party or may disappear altogether by the dishonest actions of either spouse. With the finances “frozen,” it ensures that both spouses will have fair claims to all the marital assets while equitable distribution is being determined.

Illinois statutes specify that financial restraining orders can last as short as 30 days. This is referred to as a temporary restraining order. However, they can be elongated to ensure that marital assets are safeguarded. While the financial restraining order is in place, each party must seek the court’s approval to spend money on unnecessary items, sell any property, or unreasonably try to borrow money, among other things.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a taxing and emotional time. Dissipating assets during divorce is not uncommon when parties may feel disadvantaged by the looming proceeding. When one spouse dissipates assets during a divorce to exercise control over the outcome of issues like property division, it is illegal. Today, we will delve deeper into what you should do if you think your spouse may be dissipating assets.

What is Dissipation of Assets?

Dissipation of assets occurs when one spouse spends marital funds or assets for purposes unrelated to the marriage. This can include gambling, unnecessary expenses beyond reasonable requirements to maintain a particular lifestyle, making investments irrelevant to the marriage, or spending money to support an extramarital affair.

What to Do if You Suspect Asset Dissipation

Here is what to do if you think your spouse is dissipating assets, including:


IL divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse agree on all issues related to your divorce, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support, you may be wondering if you still need to hire a divorce attorney. While it may seem like a straightforward process, there are several reasons why it is still recommended to hire an attorney, even if you are in agreement. Today, we will discuss why it is essential to hire a divorce attorney regardless of whether you and your spouse agree on all the issues.

Why Hiring an Attorney is Important

Firstly, an attorney can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and promptly. Even if you and your spouse have reached an agreement, legal procedures must be followed to finalize the divorce. An attorney can ensure that all documents and property are drafted, filed, and served to the appropriate parties.

Secondly, an attorney can provide legal advice and inform you of your legal rights and obligations. Even if you and your spouse have agreed on issues, it is essential to understand the legal implications of your decisions. An attorney can help you navigate complex issues and make sure that your agreement is fair and legally binding.

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